The Wit in the Dungeon: The Remarkable Life of Leigh Hunt-Poet, Revolutionary, and the Last of the Romantics

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9780316067522: The Wit in the Dungeon: The Remarkable Life of Leigh Hunt-Poet, Revolutionary, and the Last of the Romantics

A portrait of the Romantic- and Victorian-era essayist, poet, and critic describes his relationship with such contemporaries as Keats, Shelley, and Dickens; his imprisonment for insulting the Prince of Wales; and his role in the creation of theater criticism. 25,000 first printing.

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About the Author:

Anthony Holden, biographer of Shakespeare, Tchaikovsky, Laurence Olivier and Prince Charles, was made a Fellow of the Center for Scholars and Writers at the New York Public Library while researching this book.

From Publishers Weekly:

Holden, a veteran biographer of figures from Shakespeare to Prince Charles, delivers a colorful and eventful portrait of one of the longest-lived members of the Romantic era, whose chief accomplishment, besides his conviviality, may have been imprisonment for satirizing the Regent Prince of Wales in 1812. Hunt (1784–1859) won notoriety for his precocious adolescent poetry and later, with his brother, for their newspaper, the Examiner, which fought against Regency-era corruption. His friends and colleagues included Keats, Shelley, Byron, Hazlitt, Lamb, Carlyle, Browning and Dickens, his eventual nemesis. Holden views more favorably the middle-aged Hunt's belles-lettres potboiling and perpetual shortness of cash than did the popular Victorian novelist, who in Bleak House caricatured Hunt as the feckless Harold Skimpole. Hunt's poetry, tending to the florid and sentimental, made a relatively successful transition to the Victorian era, but his lasting achievements are likely the anthology favorites "Abou Ben Adhem" and "The Glove and the Lions," as well as the light verse "Jenny Kissed Me" (about Jane Welsh Carlyle). A man of letters who appears in many literary biographies, Hunt deserves this sympathetic, engaging one of his own. 16 pages of b&w photos. (Dec. 13)
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